Black & White Rules!


As a >40 year veteran photo-journalist, (PJ), I’ve had the Black & White vs. Color discussion muy times if not ad absurdum. I’m prejudiced in favor of B&W, the greater challenge than color, here’s why, my wholly subjective view:

With color, you have the color itself, too often a crutch to lean on in the absence of one or both of the cardinal standards; the elegance of composition, the form, and the emotional content; feeling, (vastly more important than color to a picture’s greatness).*

From a Design POV, with print projects for Non-Profits, Black & White conveys Frugality, (even if it costs as much or more to print than color). Some find an elegance in the economy of palette, ‘multum in parvo’, much in little.

The world is approaching knee deep in vivid & vapid happy snaps, rising at a tsunamic rate, (few key worded, so collectively a form of digital flotsam). Fodder for the Gallery I’m thinking of setting up: “The So What & Good Enough Gallery ™”.

* Most images, any more, start life in digital capture as color. As part of processing images in Photoshop, I test images by turning the color off, tweaking a curves layer to bring out the compositional virtues, optimal contrast, dodged & burned to Just Right. Toggling a B&W layer on/off can inform the decision whether the color strengthens or weakens the picture’s Mojo.